Drink drive message heeded in Suffolk

THE number of people drink-driving in Suffolk in the run up to Christmas has fallen by more than 40% compared to last year, it has emerged.Suffolk Constabulary has welcomed the figures, which show that despite a rise in the number of drivers being stopped this year, fewer are testing positive for alcohol.

THE number of people drink-driving in Suffolk in the run up to Christmas has fallen by more than 40% compared to last year, it has emerged.

Suffolk Constabulary has welcomed the figures, which show that despite a rise in the number of drivers being stopped this year, fewer are testing positive for alcohol.

The figures, taken from 6am on Saturday December 18 until 6am yesterday , show that 361 people have been asked to provide a breath sample, with just 12 testing positive.

Over the same period last Christmas 330 drivers were stopped, with 21 giving positive alcohol tests – meaning that 2004 has seen a 43% fall in drink-driving.


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This year, four of the drivers who tested positive were at the scene of a collision – three involving injury – while a further two were stopped for traffic offences and the remaining six were driving erratically.

Chief Inspector Alan Pawsey, of the force's Road Policing Unit, welcomed the figures – and highlighted the police drink-drive campaign as a possible reason for the drop.

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He said: "The people of Suffolk can be assured that we are making every effort to get drivers whose reactions are adversely affected by drink or drugs off our roads.

"Early results seem to indicate that the message on drink-driving may be getting through. Fewer drivers seem to be willing to risk taking to the roads when they have had a drink.

"We have stopped even more drivers this year than at the same time last year and have found that fewer had been drinking.

"While this is very encouraging, we think that one drink driver on the road is one too many."

And Chief Insp Pawsey warned: "We want everyone to get home safely this Christmas.

"Our message is simple – if you have a drink or take drugs, including a prescription medicine that carries a warning about driving, then don't drive.

"Remember alcohol and drugs can still be in your body and impair your ability to drive a considerable time after they are consumed – if you think you can drink till 3am and drive at 8am, you could be in for a shock."

He continued: "This year we are appealing to people to take responsibility for themselves and also for their friends, to plan evenings out in advance and to ensure that everyone gets home safely at the end of the night.

"People who choose to walk home after having a drink also need to be careful – use well-lit roads with footpaths and wear light-coloured, preferably reflective outer clothing to ensure that you can be seen. Walk facing oncoming traffic.

"All drivers need to be mindful of revellers making their way home on foot on unlit roads late at night during the festive season."

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